Plus-Size? You Get To Wear ‘Manatee Grey’ At Target!


See the dress above? If you wear it in a standard size and appreciate this color, you can find it in a shade called “Dark Heather Grey”; if you are plus-size, you can find it in “Manatee Grey,” because that doesn’t feel targeted or anything (pun mostly unintended).

The differences in color names of the Mossimo Women’s Kimono Maxi Dress was spotted by Susan Clemens, who tweeted about it to Target and used the fairly recent hashtag #notbuyingit, signifying that she was not okay with its advertising and wouldn’t be purchasing as a result.


Good catch, Susan Clemens! Seriously — I never would’ve spotted something like that, particularly if I were online shopping which I tend to do in a bit of a daze late at night while eating popcorn and drinking lazy cocktails.

Target responded quickly, tweeting back to Clemens, “Hey Susan – I’m sharing your comments with the appropriate team and they will review your them as soon as possible. Thanks! -Bryan.” Later yesterday evening, Target tweeted at her again: “@suZen We apologize for this unintentional oversight & never intend to offend our guests. We’ve heard you, and we’re working to fix it ASAP.”

Now, the offending garment’s color doesn’t appear on the site. According to Target spokesperson Joshua Thomas’ explanation to Forbes, “Manatee Grey” is actually a standard color for Target products. There were two teams of buyers responsible for the dress, and each chose separate color names, thus resulting in a difference in name between the two. It was a dumb oversight, but at least nobody offered the, “Sorry you feel that way” or “get a sense of humor” apologies that often come around when people are upset about offensive material toward plus-size women.

Although I may not always agree with Target’s business practices, it is good to see a major organization pay attention to a customer’s (very rational) complaints and bring about change as a result. They could have very easily ignored it — yes, the PR would’ve been briefly negative, but they’re Target and they really don’t need to care all that much. This is just more proof that being vocally vigilant about advertising and retailers is incredibly important when bringing about change.

Photos: Target, Twitter.

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    • Sarah Hollowell

      Oh, it makes me happy that they handled it well. If they’d gone the “lol get a sense of humor” route, I would have had trouble shopping there again and god that would suck. Their plus-size clothes are cute AND in-store, unlike others (*cough*Old Navy*cough*). As someone who usually has to shop in expensive specialty plus-size stores, Target is a godsend.

    • Liz Grierson

      On a snarky side-note though, I notice the smaller dresses are $2.99 more expensive (even though they presumably involve less fabric).

      • Tania

        I noticed that, too.

      • Lisa(r)

        That seems like it’s either arbitrary or related to supply and demand and so on, not something size-related. But I did notice that, too… I wonder why it happened!

    • anna

      manatees are fucking adorable. only sea creature that doesn’t scare me.
      but besides that, i’m glad they responded well.

    • Alex Ko

      What the article did not mention is that manatee gray has been used as a color name for non-plus size products as well. I think target could just have renamed the normal sized version manatee gray in color, then nobody could complain.

      • Samantha Escobar

        “According to Target spokesperson Joshua Thomas’ explanation to Forbes, “Manatee Grey” is actually a standard color for Target products.”

    • Dee Green

      Whether it’s for plus or minus sized clothing, “Manatee Grey” is an awful name for a colour.